Tech

After EU penalty: Google introduces “reject all” checkboxes for tracking cookies






After being fined millions by the French data protection authority, Google is now introducing new options in its tracking selection.

Google is introducing new options to opt-out of tracking cookies in Europe after finding the existing checkboxes a breach of EU data protection law, The Verge reports.

Earlier this year, the French data protection authority CNIL fined Google €150 million for using confusing wording in cookie embeds. Previously, Google allowed its users to accept all tracking cookies with a single click, but forced them to click through different menus to decline them all.

According to the CNIL, this unequal treatment was unlawful because it led users to accept cookies, which ultimately only boosted Google’s advertising business.

Users can now reject all cookies with a tick

The new cookie checkboxes from Google now provide a remedy with options such as: “Reject all”, “Accept all” or “More options” for a more detailed setting. The new menu will be displayed in Google search and YouTube when users browse the websites without signing in. Registered users can still customize tracking options through Google’s “Data & Privacy” menu.

“We’ve started with the launch in France and will be expanding this experience to the rest of the European Economic Area, the UK and Switzerland,”

writes Google product manager Sammit Adhya in a blog post announcing the changes.

“Soon, users in the region will have a new cookie choice – one that can be accepted or declined with a single click.”

The ability to decline or accept cookies should give users more control over their data, but as the Google example shows, this may depend on how those choices are implemented. The European Center for Digital Rights, which advocates for proper cookie menus, says that 90 percent of users accept all cookies with a click, but only 3 percent actually want to. Changes like the ones introduced by Google could improve this frustrating user experience for everyone.

Also interesting:

EU court: Google has to pay a fine of 2.4 billion euros

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